NASA // PAST AND PRESENT DREAMS OF THE FUTURE
NASA: Past and Present Dreams of the Future is a project by British artist Benedict Redgrove. With unprecedented access to NASA’s spacecraft, labs, and facilities Redgrove has created a body of work that looks at the power of those objects and the effect they have on us emotionally and spiritually.
Redgrove spent five years negotiating and building trust with NASA followed by four years of photography and production. He gained access to some of NASA’s most restricted areas and facilities allowing him to photograph objects rarely seen by the outside world. He went inside the Lunar Samples Lab to photograph the priceless moon rocks collected on the Apollo missions, from the mission control room he watched the sunset behind the International Space Station and entered the assembly rooms where the next generation of spacecraft are being built.
The result is a collection of epic, finely-detailed images allowing the objects to tell their own story. Photographed using technical cameras with digital backs, some pictures are made up of over 60 exposures to capture the incredible detail. They are then meticulously worked on to create final an image that allows us to view them without influence or distraction. By showing each object and space in a way that is devoid of distraction and context, you can look upon the work in its singularity, a fresh perspective that allows one to embrace its true strength. Resonating an energy-giving fulfillment that can be inspiring and uplifting.
For Redgrove, it is about showing the emotional and spiritual impact of these objects. “I wanted to explore and invoke a reaction to these machines and objects when we see them in fine detail, thus revealing what they mean to us as human beings.”
“Science, engineering, and design are as close to a religion as I can possibly put my belief in. They are manifest. They offer tangible results, are open to challenge and change. They are progressive, always seeking to improve their understanding and adapt.”
“The image of the astronaut, or spaceman has been with me ever since my childhood, as a sort of talisman to all that is great and good. They symbolize the explorer, the hero, and the leader. The spacesuit takes on that character, the suit and the human become one entity, more powerful than either on their own. It’s now a symbol in its own right, greater than the sum of its parts. It has reached an omnipotent stature that few can match. These genuinely iconic objects have come to signify the greatest of human achievements.”
Two Shuttle Carrier Aircraft were made. The carrier-craft we watched, N905NA, came into service in 1974 and was initially used for trailing-wake-vortex research as well as Space Shuttle tests.
Originally it was an American Airlines aircraft and today you can find photographs of it from the early years of the Shuttle programme still in its “AA” livery, with the Space Shuttle on top sporting the classic, red ‘worm’ NASA logo. As well as being a magical evocation of an era, it also captures how NASA functions in one beautiful image. It shows how NASA built itself by learning to adapt and create.
Print size in inches Image 37.5x50”